Welcome to the BH&PS web site. 
We also have a Facebook page so please don't forget to "Like" us at

Our Museum and Library are open year around (see hours below) and we are open by special appointment.   Call ahead for special tours of our collections or for access to our research library.  Books on Bristol history, historic maps, prints and other items are available for sale in our Museum Corner Gift Shop during open hours.


1:00 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays - Fridays
1:00 to 3 p.m. Summer Saturdays (June through October)
and by special appointment.

Guided museum tours are available during open hours.  Tour the exhibits throughout the building including the old jail cells, the Burnside exhibit, the Children's Exhibit Room, the Almy Exhibit Room.  
Free to members and $3 for non members.  Bring your out-of-town guests for a tour!  
For group tours, please call ahead so that we may prepare for your visit.

Society members will receive direct mailings of upcoming events 

and this site will provide updates as they occur.  To become a
 member, stop by the Society during open hours or click on 
the membership page to your left.


Click on Historic Walking Tours Link to the left for full schedule.  

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9th at 2 p.m.
"Bombed and Burned"
with Rei Battcher, aka Simeon Potter
($5 for members and $10 for non-members and children 12 and under are free if accompanied by parents or other supervising adults)
Meet at the Society, 48 Court Street

“Bombed and Burned” is a Revolutionary War walking tour along the edge of the Bristol Harbor.  Librarian and local historian Rei Battcher will lead the tour in the persona of Captain Simeon Potter who lived from 1720 to 1806. Rei Battcher, through the eyes of Captain Potter, will recount the bombing of Bristol by the British in 1775 and the burning three years later when the British marched through town destroying many houses.  At the time, Captain Potter was considered to be one of the most influential men in the Colony because of his great wealth amassed from money and plundered treasure when he was a young man on the high seas as both a pirate and a privateer.   In 1775, when the British sailed into the Bristol Harbor and started bombing the Town, it was Captain Potter who led the negotiations with them to stop.   Captain Potter had already earned a reputation as a Patriot in 1772 by taking a boatload of men from Bristol across the Bay to Pawtuxet Cove where they joined others to burn the anchored HMS Gaspee, a hated British revenue schooner.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23rd at 5:30 p.m.
"Sunset and Evening Walk"
Juniper Hill Cemetery, Sherry Avenue, Bristol
with Arborist, Chris Fletcher

Sunset walk through Juniper Hill Cemetery with lanterns to guide your way.  Chris Fletcher not only knows about all the trees in this spectacular cemetery but also knows the history of its inhabitants.

$10 or $5 for members.  Meet at the Gate on Sherry Avenue.


All lectures are free and open to the public.  And followed by a reception to meet the speaker.


Speaker Ray Rickman
Monday, October 24, 2016, at 7 p.m.
Rogers Free Library, 525 Hope Street, Bristol, RI

Speaker Ed Iannuccilli
Monday, November 28, 2016, at 7 p.m.
Rogers Free Library, 525 Hope Street, Bristol, RI


Next Meeting:  October 1, 2016, at 9 a.m.
Society Headquarters, 48 Court Street, Bristol

Open To All - Just Walk In and Join the Group
send an email to:
and request to be added to the Genealogy Club Mailing List for notices about upcoming meetings, general genealogical events throughout Rhode Island and 
Massachusetts, and other information shared between members.

The Club meets regularly on the 1st Saturday of the month except for July and August. If the Saturday falls on a holiday weekend, the group will meet the following Saturday.

                   Individual Review of Research Problems

We have a very lively group and we devote a portion of each meeting to our "brick wall roundtable" to help members with their individual research problems.  The idea is for members to present their latest "brick wall" so others can help decide what to do next.  The purpose of this short session is not to review an entire family history nor is it to actually solve the entire brick wall but is instead to give ideas on HOW to solve it.

As of December 2015, Fire, Burglar and Security systems at the BHPS are fully installed due to the receipt of a generous $15,000 matching grant from The 1772 Foundation.  The BHPS has motion alarms and security cameras throughout the building, has a secured entry alarm system and a fire alarm system that is directly linked to the Town of Bristol Fire Department.  As part of its 2015 Matching Grants for Historic Preservation made available to organizations in Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island, The 1772 Foundation Grant has enabled the Society to protect its unique research library, its extensive paper document room, the significant portrait collection, and all of the other artifacts throughout the building.

Founded in 1936 to promote interest in historical research and preservation, to stimulate the study of the history of Southern New England, especially the Town of Bristol, to collect and preserve whatever pertains thereto, and to provide museum quarters for the exhibition of the same and a meeting space for our members.

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